Environmental Factor, September 2005, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences
Tox Town Adds US Mexico Border Neighborhood
By Blondell Peterson
Tox Town is an interactive website created by the National Library of Medicine to introduce visitors to environmental health risks associated with toxic chemicals encountered in everyday life. Visitors to the site view information on communities by moving their computer mouse over drawings of cities and towns.
The newest neighborhood at Tox Town is the U.S. Mexico Border.
"We added the Mexico Border scene because there are a lot of unique environmental health issues along the border that people outside that region are generally completely unaware of," said Cindy Love of the Specialized Information Services Division at NLM.
Things to explore on the Mexico Border page include an auto shop, "tienda" (corner store), "maquiladora" (factory), crop fields, storm water and sewage systems illegal dumps and tire piles. It also includes a "colonia" which is a border community that lacks paved roads, running water and waste disposal, and which is home to more than 400,000 people in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.
The U.S.-Mexico border region is the area within 62 miles on either side of the international border. It extends approximately 2,000 miles and runs through the Mexican states of Baja California Norte, Sonora, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo Leon and Tamaulipas. The area is home to 12 million people live in the region, but the population is expected to increase to 24 million by 2025.
In addition to the U.S.-Mexico border page, a farm scene is under consideration as well as an arctic village scene and a generic sea shore town. The website address is http://toxtown.nlm.nih.gov/index_content.html.